# The Resistor Color Code ```The Resistor Color Code
Resistor values are normally shown using colored bands.
Each color represents a number as shown in the table.
Most resistors show 4 bands:
•
•
•
•
The first band gives the first digit.
The second band gives the second digit.
The third band indicates the number of zeros.
The fourth band is used to show the tolerance (precision)
of the resistor. In particular:
silver &plusmn;10%, gold &plusmn;5%, red &plusmn;2%, brown &plusmn;1%.
Example:
Colour Number
Black
0
Brown
1
Red
2
Orange
3
Yellow
4
Green
5
Blue
6
Violet
7
Grey
8
White
9
This resistor has the following bands:
red (→ 2),
violet (→ 7),
yellow (→ 4 zeros)
gold (→ 5%)
So its value is 270000
= 270 k
(5%).
Metal-film precision resistors use a four-digit code printed on the resistor body, rather than the ordinary
color-banding scheme. The first three digits denote a value, and the last digit is the “number of zeros”
multiplier (note that the color bands work the same way, but with only three digits altogether) . For
example, 1693 denotes a 169k resistor, and 1000 denotes a 100 Ω resistor. Many capacitors types use
this same printed number scheme.
Color code for small value resistors (less than 10 Ω).
The standard color code cannot show values of less than 10 . To show these small values two special
colors are used for the third band: gold which means &times; 0.1 and silver which means &times; 0.01. The first
and second bands represent the digits as normal. For example:
red, violet, gold bands represent 27 &times; 0.1 = 2.7
green, blue, silver bands represent 56 &times; 0.01 = 0.56
Tolerance of resistors (fourth band of color code).
The tolerance of a resistor is shown by the fourth band of the color code. Tolerance is the precision of
the resistor and it is given as a percentage. For example a 390 resistor with a tolerance of &plusmn;10% will
have a value within 10% of 390 , between 390 - 39 = 351 and 390 + 39 = 429 (39 is 10% of 390). If
no fourth band is shown the tolerance is &plusmn;20%.
A special color code is used for the fourth band tolerance:
silver &plusmn;10%, gold &plusmn;5%, red &plusmn;2%, brown &plusmn;1%.
A summary of the colored bands meaning is reported below.
```